Sunday’s Tierpark 10km was looking really good. After a cooler few weeks here in Berlin, we were suddenly being treated with a late burst of summer. Earlier on that morning, we were working with some clients, feeling positive and energised by the warmer temperatures. After all, yesterday had been a glorious day. Thermometers hitting 26 degrees.
This 10km event started later in the day, and with a staggered start time, depending on whether you were in the 5km race, or the one of the two later 10km starts. For us, it was 13:45 before we needed to be at the start line.
By this time, the thermometers were back in party mode. The sun was still shining, and the forecasted thunder storms and rain clouds were not yet ready to make their entrance.
To be honest, we cut it a bit fine to reach the start line. Tierpark is in the Eastern side of the city. A few stops by U5 from Frankfurter Tor. Not really that far from home, but the rather lengthy walk from the U-Bahn station to the start line managed to consume most of the “extra” time we had set aside to wander aimlessly through the event village. We arrived with 10 minutes to spare. threw our kit into the bag store, briefly pausing at the Dixi-loo before rushing through a few warm up moves and dashing to the start line with 30 seconds to spare.
This event took us right through the heart of the park (and through parts where visitors aren’t allowed). We passed Polar Bears, Brown Bears, Black Panthers, Deer, and many more. The route was flat, and almost half of it was shady, but when we weren’t protected by the trees, the temperatures really were soaring. By the the end of the race the thermometer was nudging 27 degrees. My head was pounding. The water point at 5kms was a welcome sight, but completely underestimating my needs meant my body could not cope with the challenge combined with the lack of fluid.
As with all these larger events, getting across the start line was slow, but thankfully the wide paths allowed most of us a pretty trouble free route allowing us to pick up to race pace soon into the 1st km. The first half of the race went OK, although we hoped to clock less than 27 minutes by the time we reached the water point, and at this point, my dry throat was already warning me I was already too dehydrated. It was from about 7km that my head started pounding, my surroundings becoming slightly blurred, and despite being determined to get through without stopping, it made sense to take a few short walking breaks.
So, we finished. We didn’t achieve a 10km PB, so we’ll save that for another race. There’s still some work to be done on our speed training and hill practice, so for now, we’ll be happy we survived without getting sunstroke. It’s time to focus on our next challenge.
If you haven’t visited Tierpark Zoo before, then we can highly recommend adding it to your “must see” list. It is the poor relation to Tiergarten Zoo on the western side of the city, yet we feel it offers a prettier landscape, bigger enclosures and more space for everyone – people and animals. There are often newspaper reports of it’s threatened closure due to lacking funds and high overheads. We should all visit it more often and help to increase those much needed revenues.